Friday, October 19, 2018

Bargain Ebook: Daughter of the Forest by Juliet Marillier



Daughter of the Forest: Book One of the Sevenwaters Trilogy by Juliet Marillier is on sale for a limited time in ebook format for $2.99.

Hard to believe this book is now 18 years old but it has become a fantasy modern classic. I bought it as a new book in hardcover when it was released, excited to read a book inspired by the Six Swans/Wild Swans/etc. fairy tale. It did not disappoint and remains a favorite of mine by Marillier who has had a successful career since this was published.

Book description:

Juliet Marillier is a rare talent, a writer who can imbue her characters and her story with such warmth, such heart, that no reader can come away from her work untouched. Daughter of the Forest is a testimony to that talent, a first novel and the beginning of a trilogy like no other: a mixture of history and fantasy, myth and magic, legend and love.

Lord Colum of Sevenwaters is blessed with six sons: Liam, a natural leader; Diarmid, with his passion for adventure; twins Cormack and Conor, each with a different calling; rebellious Finbar, grown old before his time by his gift of the Sight; and the young, compassionate Padriac.

But it is Sorcha, the seventh child and only daughter, who alone is destined to defend her family and protect her land from the Britons and the clan known as Northwoods. For her father has been bewitched, and her brothers bound by a spell that only Sorcha can lift.

To reclaim the lives of her brothers, Sorcha leaves the only safe place she has ever known, and embarks on a journey filled with pain, loss, and terror.

When she is kidnapped by enemy forces and taken to a foreign land, it seems that there will be no way for her to break the spell that condemns all that she loves. But magic knows no boundaries, and Sorcha will have to choose between the life she has always known and a love that comes only once.

Tuesday, October 9, 2018

TODAY ONLY: Italian Folktales by Italo Calvino for $2.99




TODAY ONLY: Italian Folktales by Italo Calvino is on sale in ebook format for $2.99. Usually in the $10 range.

If you don't have this get it. Really. Chock full of lovely Italian folklore retellings. Lots of favorites in "newish" skins for many readers.

Book description:

One of the New York Times’s Ten Best Books of the Year: These traditional stories of Italy, retold by a literary master, are “a treasure” (Los Angeles Times).

Filled with kings and peasants, saints and ogres—as well as some quite extraordinary plants and animals—these two hundred tales bring to life Italy’s folklore, sometimes with earthy humor, sometimes with noble mystery, and sometimes with the playfulness of sheer nonsense.

Selected and retold by one of the country’s greatest literary icons, “this collection stands with the finest folktale collections anywhere” (The New York Times Book Review).

Wednesday, October 3, 2018

Fairy Tale Romances Bundle by Melanie Dickerson for $1.99



A bundle of fairy tale titles, Fairy Tale Romance Collection: The Healer’s Apprentice, The Merchant’s Daughter, The Fairest Beauty, The Captive Maiden, The Princess Spy (Fairy Tale Romance Series) by Melanie Dickerson, is on sale for $1.99. Not sure how long the sale will last, but this is a good price. Usually the individual titles go on sale for $1.99 each.

Book description:

Romance, intrigue, and danger abound in this five-book bind-up of Melanie Dickerson’s bestselling fairy-tale retellings.

The Healer’s Apprentice: Rose has been appointed as a healer’s apprentice at Hagenheim Castle, and when Lord Hamlin—the future duke—is injured, it is Rose who tends to him. As she works to heal his wound, she begins to fall in love, and wonders if he feels the same. But Lord Hamlin is betrothed to a mysterious young woman in hiding. As Rose’s life spins toward confusion, she must take the first steps on a journey to discover her own destiny.

The Merchant’s Daughter: Annabel is trapped in indentured servitude to Lord Ranulf, a recluse who is rumored to be both terrifying and beastly. She soon finds he is actually very kind and caring, and the two strike up a friendship that could soon become more. Then Annabel becomes involved in a situation that could possibly lead to Ranulf’s demise.

The Fairest Beauty: Sophie desperately wants to get away from her stepmother’s jealousy, and receives her chance when Gabe arrives from Hagenheim Castle to rescue her, claiming she is betrothed to his older brother. Though romance is impossible--she is his brother’s future wife, and Gabe himself is betrothed to someone else--the pair flee to the Cottage of the Seven to find help. Before long both must not only protect each other from the dangers around them, they must also protect their hearts.

The Captive Maiden: When Gisela learns the duke’s son, Valten--the boy she has daydreamed about for years--is throwing a ball in hopes of finding a wife, she vows to find a way to attend, even if it’s only for a taste of a life she’ll never have. To her surprise, she catches Valten’s eye. Though he is rough around the edges, Gisela finds Valten is everything she hoped he would be. But other forces are bent on keeping the two from falling further in love, putting Gisela in more danger than she ever imagined.

The Princess Spy: Margaretha has always been a romantic, and hopes her newest suitor, Lord Claybrook, is destined to be her one true love. But then an injured man is brought to Hagenheim Castle, claiming to be an English lord who was attacked by Claybrook and left for dead. And only Margaretha--one of the few who speaks his language--understands the wild story. It is up to her to save her father, Colin, and Hagenheim itself from Claybrook’s wicked plot.

Monday, June 18, 2018

Soul Catchers by Carrie Pulkinen



Soul Catchers by Carrie Pulkinen is on sale for $1.99 for the ebook edition. This book draws inspiration from Little Red Riding Hood.

Book description:

Experience the first Kindle Scout Winner of 2018. An exciting dystopian fantasy full of magic, suspense, love, and adventure.

Whoever kills the wolf becomes the wolf...

Wren Lewis shouldn't be alive. Magic is illegal, making her mere existence a crime, and if the government ever discovers the truth about her powers, she'll be killed on the spot. Or worse. But when she uses her magic to kill a wolf that's attacking her mom, her abilities are exposed and the animal's evil spirit possesses her. Unable to control the beast inside her, she flees the city in search of a cure before the wolf spirit consumes her soul, turning her into a murderous monster permanently.

"Soul Catchers will catch your attention!" -New York Times Bestselling Author C.C. Hunter

"A very interesting take on shifters...I would recommend this to fans of wolves, shifters, fantasy, magic, and Little Red Riding Hood." -YA Books Central Reviewer

Friday, April 13, 2018

TODAY ONLY: Bargain Ebook: Black Thorn, White Rose




Black Thorn, White Rose by Ellen Datlow (Editor) and Terri Windling (Editor) is on sale TODAY ONLY for $2.99, down from $10ish.

Book description:

“Enchanting, witty” fairy tales for adults from Peter Straub, Daniel Quinn, Nancy Kress, Patricia C. Wrede, and other modern-day Grimms and Andersens (Publishers Weekly).

World Fantasy Award–winning editors Ellen Datlow and Terri Windling return with another superb collection of wonders and terrors. In Black Thorn, White Rose, the magical tales we were told at bedtime have been upended, turned inside out, reshaped, and given a keen, distinctly adult edge by eighteen of the most acclaimed storytellers ever to reinvent a fairy tale. Our favorite characters, from Sleeping Beauty to Rumpelstiltskin to the Gingerbread Man, are here but in different guises, brought to new life by such masters as Nancy Kress, Jane Yolen, Storm Constantine, and the late, great Roger Zelazny.

These breathtaking tales of dark enchantments range from the tragic and poignant to the humorous to the horrifying to the simply astonishing. The story of an aging woodcutter persuaded to help a desperate prince make his way through the brambles to save a sleeping beauty twists ingeniously around like the thorny wall that impedes them. The fable of an all-controlling queen mother who faces her most fearsome adversary in a sensitive princess who appears mysteriously during a storm is a dark, disturbing masterpiece. And readers will long remember the exquisite tale of Death, his godson, football, and MTV.

Anyone who has ever loved or even feared the old tales of witches and trolls and remarkable transformations will find much to admire in this extraordinary collection—happily ever after or not.

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

TODAY ONLY Bargain Ebook: Black Heart, Ivory Bones edited by Datlow and Windling



Black Heart, Ivory Bones by Ellen Datlow (Editor) and Terri Windling (Editor) is on sale for $2.99 today only in ebook format!

Book description:

Favorite fairy tales are updated and hauntingly reimagined by twenty of today’s finest writers of fiction and fantasy

Once upon a time, all our cherished dreams began with the words once upon a time. This is the phrase that opened our favorite tales of princes and spells and magical adventures. World Fantasy Award–winning editors Ellen Datlow and Terri Windling understand the power of beloved stories—and in Black Heart, Ivory Bones, their sixth anthology of reimagined fairy tales, they have gathered together stories and poetry from some of the most acclaimed writers of our time, including Neil Gaiman, Tanith Lee, Charles de Lint, and Joyce Carol Oates. But be forewarned: These fairy tales are not for children.

A prideful Texas dancer is cursed by a pair of lustrous red boots . . . Goldilocks tells all about her brutal and wildly dysfunctional foster family, the Bears . . . An archaeologist in Victorian England is enchanted by a newly exhumed Sleeping Beauty . . . A prince of tabloid journalism is smitten by a trailer-park Rapunzel . . . A clockwork amusement park troll becomes sentient and sets out to foment an automaton revolution. These are but a few examples of the marvels that await within these pages—tales that range from the humorous to the sensuous to the haunting and horrifying, each one a treasure with a distinctly adult edge.

Bargain Ebook: The Star-Touched Queen by Roshani Chokshi



The Star-Touched Queen by Roshani Chokshi is on sale for a short time for $2.99, down from the $10ish it was previously.

This book incorporates the folklore and mythology of India (as in the country, not Native American). Chokshi loves rich language--and it was revealed she is a fairy tale and SurLaLune reader before she knew I was in the room when I saw her at the Southern Festival of Books in 2016--so I have many reasons to recommend her here, too!  I love this current trend of Indian folklore inspired fiction with books like this and RenĂ©e Ahdieh's The Wrath and the Dawn to name a few. I read a lot of Indian folklore as I research so it has a filing cabinet all its own in my brain that I love to see explored through other sources.

Book description:

Praise for The Star-Touched Queen:
New York Times Bestseller
An Amazon Best Book of the Month
A Goodreads Best Book of the Month

Fate and fortune. Power and passion. What does it take to be the queen of a kingdom when you're only seventeen?

Maya is cursed. With a horoscope that promises a marriage of Death and Destruction, she has earned only the scorn and fear of her father's kingdom. Content to follow more scholarly pursuits, her whole world is torn apart when her father, the Raja, arranges a wedding of political convenience to quell outside rebellions. Soon Maya becomes the queen of Akaran and wife of Amar. Neither roles are what she expected: As Akaran's queen, she finds her voice and power. As Amar's wife, she finds something else entirely: Compassion. Protection. Desire...

But Akaran has its own secrets -- thousands of locked doors, gardens of glass, and a tree that bears memories instead of fruit. Soon, Maya suspects her life is in danger. Yet who, besides her husband, can she trust? With the fate of the human and Otherworldly realms hanging in the balance, Maya must unravel an ancient mystery that spans reincarnated lives to save those she loves the most. . .including herself.

A lush and vivid story that is steeped in Indian folklore and mythology. The Star-touched Queen is a novel that no reader will soon forget.


Tuesday, April 3, 2018

TODAY ONLY Bargain Ebook: Silver Birch, Blood Moon, Short Story Anthology for $2.99



Silver Birch, Blood Moon edited by Ellen Datlow and Terri Windling is on sale in ebook format for $2.99, down from the usual $8-10 range. The books on these series go on sale briefly semi-regularly (about once a year for each of the titles) and is on sale TODAY ONLY.

Book description:

Twenty-one darker, deeper, more adult takes on some of our favorite childhood fairy tales, from acclaimed contemporary fantasists

Long ago, when we were children, our dreams were inspired by the fairy tales we heard at our mothers’ and grandmothers’ knees—stories of princesses and princes and witches and wondrous enchantments, by the Brothers Grimm and Hans Christian Andersen, and from the pages of 1001 Arabian Nights. But, as World Fantasy Award–winning editors Ellen Datlow and Terri Windling remind us, these stories were often tamed and sanitized versions. The originals were frequently darker—and in Silver Birch, Blood Moon, they turn darker still.

Twenty-one modern Grimms and Andersens—masterful storytellers including Neil Gaiman, Nancy Kress, and Tanith Lee—now reinvent beloved bedtime stories for our time. The Sea Witch gets her say, relating the story of “The Little Mermaid” from her own point of view. “Thumbelina” becomes a tale of creeping horror, while a delightfully naughty spin is put on “The Emperor’s New Clothes.” Author Caitlin R. Kiernan transports Snow White to a dark, gritty, industrial urban setting, and Patricia Briggs details “The Price” of dealing with a royal and unrepentantly evil Rumpelstiltskin.

Rich, provocative, and unabashedly adult, each of these tales is a modern treasure, reminding us that wishes have consequences and not all genies have our best interests at heart.

Friday, March 23, 2018

Bargain Ebook: As Old As Time: A Twisted Tale by Liz Braswell for $.99




As Old As Time: A Twisted Tale (Twisted Tale, A) by Liz Braswell is on sale for $0.99 in ebook format down from its usual $9.99. I don't know how long the sale will last so don't dawdle if you're interested in it.

This is a novelization of the Disney version of Beauty and the Beast. This is the third book in Braswell's series. She's also explored Sleeping Beauty in Once Upon a Dream: A Twisted Tale: A Twisted Tale and Aladdin in A Whole New World: A Twisted Tale.

Book description:

What if Belle's mother cursed the Beast? As Old as Time is the third book in a new YA line that reimagines classic Disney stories in surprising new ways. When Belle touches the Beast's enchanted rose, memories flood through Belle's mind—memories of a mother she thought she would never see again. And, stranger still, she sees that her mother is none other than the beautiful enchantress who cursed the castle and all its inhabitants. Shocked and confused, Belle and the Beast will have to unravel a dark mystery about their families that is 21 years in the making.

Bargain Ebook: Once Upon A Quest: 15 Tales of Adventure (Once Upon Series Book 3)



Once Upon A Quest: 15 Tales of Adventure (Once Upon Series Book 3) is bargain priced in ebook format for $2.99. This is the third volume in the anthology series and features some well-known authors, like Alethea Kontis. It was just released last month.

Book description:

Fifteen brand new fairytale twists from the bestselling and award-winning authors who brought you Once Upon A Curse and Once Upon A Kiss! With inspirations ranging from The Ugly Duckling to Snow White, and everything in between (including trips to Camelot and Oz), these fabulous tales are full of adventure, magic, and a touch of romance.

WEST OF THE MOON by Annie Bellet
When her twin brother sacrifices his freedom to save their starving family, Lina embarks on a quest through a magical forest to save him and restore their fortunes.

A BELL IN THE NIGHT by Evelyn Snow
For Stevie Silver, waking the beautiful boy in the glass box is only the beginning, as her mysterious past catches up with her.

MISTRESS BOOTSI by Anthea Sharp
A girl sets out to seek her fortune - and luckily, she has a clever cat for a companion…

WHITE ROSE by Phaedra Weldon
Jack Frost must find his true love and save her from the Snow Queen’s icy shards before he loses her - and his chance at humanity - forever.

THE GOBLIN AND THE TREASURE by Alethea Kontis
Out-of-work soldier Kira Kobold is handpicked by the High Wizard Zelwynn to go on a quest. Her companions? A growly ogress, a surly dwarf, a dimwitted troll, and an overly optimistic goblin. This wasn’t exactly the quest she was looking for…

THE RUINS OF OZ by Alexia Purdy
The Land of Oz was the last place Thea thought she’d find herself after falling through her mother’s enchanted mirror. If the stories she’s been told are real, why is the Emerald City in ruins?

A TOUCH OF GOLD by Rachel Morgan
When Tilly helps two strangers escape from danger, she becomes part of their quest to keep a powerful magical ability out of the wrong hands ...

MAGIC AND MACHINERY by Jamie Ferguson
Maude works with machinery, not magic. Can she find a way to escape the magician’s grasp and free her beloved brother?

BLOW YOUR HOUSE DOWN by Nikki Jefford
In a brave new world, three wizards journey through wild shifter territories to find somewhere to begin anew.

BANE AND BALM by Jenna Elizabeth Johnson
When the stream providing healing water to Claire’s sick aunt dries up, she must venture into the dreaded Dorcha Forest, where she discovers a stranger willing to risk his freedom in order to help her on her quest.

CAT WHITE by Kay McSpadden
He thought he was following the music, but a white cat led him to realize life held more adventure than he’d guessed.

KING ARTHUR AND THE CHALICE OF LIFE by Julia Crane
Camelot may be at peace, but betrayal and death lurk within the mists surrounding it.

FEAR OF FALLING by Shawntelle Madison
Cast from her griffin’s nest, Ireti is forced into the cruel world of the ground-walkers below. Before she can fly, Ireti must find the strength to walk, and the key to acceptance lies in an undiscovered place—between two worlds.

THE MERROW’S GOLDEN RING by Sara C. Roethle
Ailios was taught to never believe a promise from one of the Faie, but that doesn’t stop her from doing it anyway.

TAKE MY MONSTERS by C. Gockel
In the wilds of the barbarian north, Roman slave Margusa meets a warrior enchanted and enslaved by an Elf Queen. To set him free, Margusa must first confront the monsters within herself...

Thursday, March 22, 2018

Bargain Ebook: Once Upon A Curse: 17 Dark Faerie Tales (Once Upon Series)



Once Upon A Curse: 17 Dark Faerie Tales (Once Upon Series) is bargain priced in ebook format for $.99. This is the first volume in the anthology series and features some well-known authors, like Alethea Kontis and Yasmine Galenorn.

Book description:

#1 Bestseller in Fantasy Anthologies and Dark Fantasy Seventeen magical stories from NY Times and USA Today bestsellers and award-winning authors that will entice you to the darker side of faerie tales. More Grimm than Disney, in this collection you’ll find twists on Snow White, Hansel & Gretel, Rumpelstiltskin, The Snow Queen, Cinderella, The Pied Piper, Alice in Wonderland, and Red Riding Hood, plus new tales paying homage to the old traditions.

Shadows cannot exist without light, however, and you’ll find enough happily-ever-afters to lift your spirits in this anthology full of adventure, dark powers, and ultimately the enduring power of true love.

YARROW, STURDY AND BRIGHT by Devon Monk – Sweet music cannot hide a wicked heart…

FAE HORSE by Anthea Sharp – Faerie bargains can grant any desire, but be careful what you wish for.

THE QUEEN OF FROST AND DARKNESS by Christine Pope - Her heart is the only thing colder than a Russian winter….

BONES by Yasmine Galenorn - Sometimes, your most cherished dream can turn out to be a nightmare.

MAGIC AFTER MIDNIGHT by C. Gockel – The Wicked Stepmother is about to meet her match…

DANCE WITH THE DEVIL by Donna Augustine - When the devil makes a deal with a dancer, he gets more than he bargained for.

NO GIFT OF WORDS by Annie Bellet - Never steal from a witch...

THE GRIM BROTHER by Audrey Faye – Not all walks in the wood end well…

BEAST INSIDE BEAUTY by Danielle Monsch - Happily Ever After ain't guaranteed when Once Upon a Time is here.

FAESCORNED by Jenna Elizabeth Johnson - The Morrigan, Celtic goddess of war and strife, must relive a painful memory that reminds her of what she can never have.

DRAWN TO THE BRINK by Tara Maya - Sajiana's job is to hunt down monsters brought alive from paintings. She never expected to meet one so handsome... or to need his help.

THE VARIANCE COURT by Alexia Purdy - Anna, a struggling college student, discovers a mysterious ring that turns her quiet life chaotic when the ring's magic doesn't do what it's told.

THE MORRIGAN by Phaedra Weldon – A young man discovers he has leprechaun blood – and is wanted by dark faerie forces.

ALICE by Julia Crane - A twisted tale of Alice and Wonderland. Facing madness and an ominous prophecy, Alice chooses to follow her heart despite knowing her world is about to change forever.

STILL RED by Sabrina Locke – When the Hunters come, can there be any escape?

THE FINAL STRAW by Jennifer Blackstream - To banish a gold-spinning demon, first you must guess his name...

THE UNICORN HUNTER by Alethea Kontis – Only Snow White knows what really happened in the forest…

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

State of SurLaLune: March 2018 Report



Hi Everyone,

What do you do when a site that is almost 20 years old with over 10,000 pages on it needs a redesign? 

You take FOREVER to make it happen. I've perfected procrastinating my procrastination of the work. 

In the coming weeks, really and truly, the SurLaLune Fairy Tale site is receiving a makeover. It is long past due to become mobile responsive. It is time for a different look. The task has been daunting and will happen in phases. 

First and foremost, the annotated tales pages and the introduction materials are going to be launched with new looks. Old bookmarks will break, alas, although I am trying to insure we have redirects in place for the most popular pages especially.

Aaron McMillian has been busily creating original illustrations for the banners on the pages. SurLaLune is going to look much more modern, rather a must with the programming needs for a mobile responsive site. His banner illustration for Bluebeard graces the top of this blog entry. It's been really fun to see what he's produced for tales like Maid Maleen and some others that so rarely get any treatment. He did a few tales for me at the beginning for fun and I fell so in love with his work that I asked for all 49 annotated tales to receive similar treatment. I'm not demanding or anything, but I really wanted a pretty new site and illustration is an art of which I can only ever be a great patron!

I've also received help from Brett Hicks for the programming which is also lovely work but not as easy to appreciate with the eyes. Good programming is invisible to the average user because they are too busy enjoying the page content to notice. I'm not going it alone this time but that is still a small team for a big task. And it has to happen in the time when we don't have bigger clients who pay for our work since SurLaLune is still very much a non-profit (although not registered as such). If I depended on it to feed me, let alone the guys, we'd get Ramen noodles once a week after SurLaLune's overhead costs are accounted for.

But this is my young adult child. Can't really call it is a baby when it is 20 years old, can I? And has defined the years of my adulthood since I started it when a young grad school student. It needed to get some grown-up clothes to wear out into the world again. The last redesign was 10 years ago. Time flies way too fast. When did I become middle-aged?

After we get the redesign launched, I will be updating pages with new copy, books, etc., too. I have a long list. I tremble to think I may even get some of it done!

On that note, I haven't even been able to muster the energy to look at the SurLaLune emails in at least six weeks. I've had to break in two new computers in that time. And as always, I have been working my real world job (which was not quieter during the last few months like it usually is which is good since I really like reading, food, clothes and shelter) and trying to complete two SurLaLune book titles that are nearly, nearly done. First is the second expanded edition of Sleeping Beauties: Sleeping Beauty  and Snow White Tales From Around the World and the second is Diamonds and Toads: Tales of Kind and Unkind Girls From Around the World. 

Anyway, SurLaLune is not dead. Neither am I. Long live SurLaLune! Me, maybe not but I hope I have several more decades in myself, too. If I can maintain the stamina...